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Feline Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome or CDS

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I am pleased to see a site devoted specifically to Cats. Our little Cat "Lippy" who is now about 3 years old, has always had a condition which until today, we could only describe as a form of Epilepsy. Our vet has ruled this out but is bewildered as to what it is. The only conclusion he can make is she has a brain disorder, which is a rather broad conclusion. I was looking through a couple web sites and I came across (Feline) Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome which mainly pertains to older Dogs and Cats. One of the descriptions of this condition is mentioned on http://www.thepetcenter.com/imtop/cds.html in this manner: Disorientation: Wanders aimlessly, Appears lost of confused in the yard or house, Gets "stuck" in corners or behind furniture, Stares into space or at walls, Has difficulty find the door, Does not recognize familiar people, Does not respond to verbal cues or name, in adding some of my own observations, the episodes usually begin soon after eating, she begins walking in circles and if not stopped, will start growling and eventually topple over. During the course of these episodes she appears to be blind, my vet who has observed this says he cannot detect activity in the eyes when she is like this. These episodes can last any where from a half hour to 4 plus hours, during which time she may have to be confined to her carrier for her own safety. Another site: http://www.manhattancats.com/Articles/CDS.html again refers to older Cats. As stated earlier my Cat is 3 years old and we are trying desperately to get to the bottom of her condition. The conditions associated with Feline Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome or CDS is very similar to what is happening the big difference is her age. I am hoping that someone on this forum has or is experiencing something similar with their little friend. Any thoughts or suggestions will be welcome.
post #2 of 29
Thread Starter 
Here is a picture of our little Lippy having a Bath. She is mentally challenged which makes things more difficult for her than the other Cats. She doesn't bath herself so we have to do it for her. There are many other instances where you can tell she is not a normal Cat. She has not been able to figure out how to jump. She launches herself in the general direction of where she hopes to get to, more times than enough this comes without warning. Your first indication of this is when out of the corner of your eye you notice something comming at your face, even with claws clipped, it is best to catch her. She doesn't know how to jump down even from the lowest heights. She cannot climb and has never tried, I don't believe the thought has ever occurred to her. Occasionally she will spot a Butterfly or Bee and this excites her but she cannot track them once they fly off, and immediately forgets what she was just doing. She constantly tries to engage the other Cats who don't want to be bothered, even after constant swatting and bashing, she will not learn and goes back for more, somehow the others know that something is different, they have never harmed or tried to harm her even they are perfectly capable. She is constantly getting under foot, literally, she tracks the movement of our feet and races to keep up with them. This usually results with us stepping on or falling over her, even though from time to time she gets hurt, as soon as you start moving again, she is right back between your legs and under your feet. She doesn't use the litter box, we have to place her across our lap and tap her side, she has come to understand this, which usually produces the desired result. This is an on-going process during the course of the day. Otherwise there will be accidents. As said earlier, when you get to know Lippy it will not take long to realize she is not a normal Cat. I suppose it is this quirky behavior that makes us love her all the more. This has been a 3 year process trying to do whatever it takes to try to give her a normal happy life. I hope you like her picture. [IMG][/IMG]
post #3 of 29
Your cat is so cute! I don't really have any advice to give, but I went through something similar with my first kitten. He was normal until about 6 months when he had his first seizure. We took him to several vets who could only diagnose some sort of neurological disorder. At about 1, he started really going downhill. The number of seizures increased, he couldn't bathe himself, couldn't use the litterbox (we would put him in it and massage his bladder until he went). He stopped being able to eat by himself so we had to handfeed him. Finally, he was unable to walk by himself, he would totter around, lose his balance, and fall over. We finally put him to sleep when he was 3 and it was heartbreaking. I don't think the symptoms between our cats are very similar and I can't really advise, but I just wanted to give you some sympathy, it's hard not to know what's wrong with your cat and not be able to help them.
post #4 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your response. It is very trying and heart wrenching at times but we love her innocence so much. She is a happy little Cat when she is not going through these episodes. Of course when she is having an episode, I don't think she knows what's going on anyway. I am so sorry to read this about your Cat, he was a lot worse off than our Lippy. Still 3 years of going through what you had to go through had to be very tough. Thanks for sharing.

James.
post #5 of 29
James - I have a lot of disorders with my gang over the years but nothing like what you are experiencing with Lippy. I read your post with fascination and I just want to commend you for going so far to give this precious child as normal a life as possible. You and your wife are good people. And that is a high compliment in my book.

Keep us up on her progress and prognosis please? You just tugged my heartstrings.
post #6 of 29
HUGS!! purrs and prayers being sent!
post #7 of 29
Thank you being willing to take such great care of your little special needs kitty! I`m sure you love him very much...and I`m sure he returns that love 100 fold!
I hope you are able to find out what the problem is and that there is some type of medication that will assist him.
Linda
post #8 of 29
Aww...She's so cute - Does she enjoy the bath? She doesn't look to unhappy about it.

Any more piccies?? We love piccies here!
post #9 of 29
If she was always like this, I wonder if it is like a member named Cassie's kitten Belle Starr. Belle's problems were probably caused by her mother having distemper when she was carrying Belle Starr.
http://www.thecatsite.com/forums/sho...ighlight=annie


She lists a lot of the symptoms. Is it possible your kitten has a milder form? Please note, Belle died September 8th, at 5 months old. Her symptoms were much more severe than your cats, and were getting worse. But I wonder if it could be a milder case of the same illness?

Best of luck with your special kitty. Your care is phemomenal!
post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jane_vernon
Aww...She's so cute - Does she enjoy the bath? She doesn't look to unhappy about it.

Any more piccies?? We love piccies here!
Hi Jane, yes she likes her bath and she likes to drive in the car. I often take her to pick-up her mum after work, we get pretty strange looks whilst parked. She usually goes to sleep in her mum's arms on the way home. Here is a pic of Benjamin and Lippy, you will notice how small Lippy is. This is not an illusion, she is less than half the size of Ben. [IMG][/IMG]
post #11 of 29
She does look such a sweet kitty and I think it is wonderful how much patience and love you are giving her. My 18 month old Ellie is a bit 'special needs' but nothing like as severe as what your Lippy is going through. Ellie doesn't learn and she has an oral fixation - both with eating and sucking on everything she can reach. She also gets underfoot very often. But she is very affectionate and everyone loves her, including the other cats. I hope Lippy lives long to enjoy your care and attention.
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyranson
She does look such a sweet kitty and I think it is wonderful how much patience and love you are giving her. My 18 month old Ellie is a bit 'special needs' but nothing like as severe as what your Lippy is going through. Ellie doesn't learn and she has an oral fixation - both with eating and sucking on everything she can reach. She also gets underfoot very often. But she is very affectionate and everyone loves her, including the other cats. I hope Lippy lives long to enjoy your care and attention.
Thank you Jenny, yes our little Lippy is very sweet and sometimes I feel she gives more than she receives. I constantly get angry when I fall over her and I have to remind myself that she is not a normal little friend. Lippy use to have a fixation with licking, she would lick everything. This caused us much concern because there are a lot of items around the house which shouldn't be licked. She has mostly grown out of this, there is a chance Ellie will grow out of her sucking also.
post #13 of 29
I have a 9 week old kitten who just started walking in circles. She has been doing this for past 40 minutes. She hasn't shown any symptoms before this. Am wondering if anyone can help.
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Oh dear, Oh dear, Oh dear!!!!!! By what you describe, you have a Special Kitty. Chances are your Kitty had a problem before she was born or during birth, with a little prayer this condition will go away but I don't think it will. I believe you may have read what I have written about our little Lippy, if your Kitty displays similar symptoms to Lippy, more than likely she will be brain damaged and there is not a lot can be done to correct this. All you can do is love her and I am sure she will love you for doing so.

What we do when Lippy starts circling, is try to distract her by telling her "no circles." If we catch her early, this sometimes works. If it gets out of control as it mostly does, she has to be confined to her Cat Carrier, which is the smallest space we can confine her in. Otherwise she will become so disoriented, she will try to climb up, over, through or under anything which is in front of her, in this state, she will injure herself. Once, before we discovered that the Cat Carrier was the safest place for her, we locked her in the bathroom. Our bathroom has stone walls without tile. When we returned home and let her out, her little paws were all bloodied with nails worn to the quik from trying to climb the walls.

In most cases, 95% of the time, the episodes begin shortly after eating. Even though our Vet has done numerous tests, they believe (but not 100%) she has what is referred to as a Liver Shunt. This is where, after eating, instead of the nutrients in the food going through the Liver before getting into the blood stream, some or all goes into the blood stream and directly to the brain which causes this condition. If this (is) the case, it can be corrected by surgery. Your Vet will have to do blood tests to determine this. These episodes in our case can happen once or twice a week lasting between a half hour to four hours. Holding, softly talking and gently cuddling her, can shorten the episodes. I hope this in your nature and you are up to this because as I said earlier, you have a Special Kitty.

If we can be of any further assistance, feel free to contact us. All our best to you and your Kitty.
post #15 of 29
If people can be 'challenged', there is no reason why animals can't be (amazing in fact how few seem to be tho'), and regardless of some of the sad stories here, yours might have a normal life(span), but will need someone like you around to keep her safe. Be really careful with visitors who don't have your awareness of her.
post #16 of 29
Wow James, what a special guy you and your family are. I am in tears reading this thread about your poor kitty and her behaviour. It is heartbreaking that your vet cannot find the cause of this, yet inspiring and beautiful that you care so much for her and go to such lengths to ensure her comfort. There are not many people like you around.

I don't have any advice unfortunately, but I am forwarding a copy of your first post to my sister-in-law, who is a vet, and who is very knowledgeable about such things.
post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you "Larke" & KitEKats4Eva! for the kind sentiments. Lippy is a very special little girl and we are trying to take her with us on vacation to Costa Rica, we don't feel comfortable leaving her even with our dearest friends, because of her special needs.

I often wonder how many dysfunctional Little Friends there are around us who go undiagnosed. How often we read on this site about behaviors that are just odd and unexplainable. Lippy is extreme and that is why she stands out. I feel that there are a lot more out there which is explained away as something other than mental illness.

If all goes well I will post a pic or two of Lippy in Costa Rica.
post #18 of 29
After reading this I do wonder if my kitty Otis may have a mild form of this. Is it something that they're born with and shows up later in life or can it develop over time? Otis broke his leg when he was about 3 months old and after a while of dragging around a heavy cast he became extremely sick. It was a really slow process and took about 2 weeks for him to deteriorate to the point that we noticed something was wrong. He began by becoming really unresponsive to us no matter how loud we were or how much we waved our hands in the air, he would stare at walls for 30 minutes at a time. We eventually had to hospitalize him for about 5 days and he started having seizures. Now he does 'quirky' things. After eating wet food he tries to bury it by pawing at the ground, which I've been reading is pretty common for cats to do, but he never did it before he was sick. He also has acquired this obsession for water, he always comes running if he hears the sink or shower running. He doesn't cover his potty up after he goes (which I think is just from him not being able to when he had a cast on). Other than that he's a pretty normal kitty though, no problems with jumping or anything. Glad to read this post though, thanks for posting it.
post #19 of 29
[quote=KitEKats4Eva!]Wow James, what a special guy you and your family are. I am in tears reading this thread about your poor kitty and her behaviour. It is heartbreaking that your vet cannot find the cause of this, yet inspiring and beautiful that you care so much for her and go to such lengths to ensure her comfort. There are not many people like you around.
QUOTE]
I second that. What great humans your Lippy has to look after her.
post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lizch6699
After reading this I do wonder if my kitty Otis may have a mild form of this. Is it something that they're born with and shows up later in life or can it develop over time? Otis broke his leg when he was about 3 months old and after a while of dragging around a heavy cast he became extremely sick. It was a really slow process and took about 2 weeks for him to deteriorate to the point that we noticed something was wrong. He began by becoming really unresponsive to us no matter how loud we were or how much we waved our hands in the air, he would stare at walls for 30 minutes at a time. We eventually had to hospitalize him for about 5 days and he started having seizures. Now he does 'quirky' things. After eating wet food he tries to bury it by pawing at the ground, which I've been reading is pretty common for cats to do, but he never did it before he was sick. He also has acquired this obsession for water, he always comes running if he hears the sink or shower running. He doesn't cover his potty up after he goes (which I think is just from him not being able to when he had a cast on). Other than that he's a pretty normal kitty though, no problems with jumping or anything. Glad to read this post though, thanks for posting it.
Thank you for your interest. I honestly believe that mental illness in Cats or any other animal can happen as it does in humans, weather it occurs at birth or through accidental misfortune such as a severe knock to the head.

Our little Lippy has had this condition from birth. We received her when she was about 12 to 16 weeks old and the people who had her previous have confirmed her condition but didn't know what was going on, it wasn't until we took her to our vet that he clued us in as to what was happening. We knew something was wrong because of her behavior but mental illness did not occur to us. We had no idea that such a condition could and does exist. Aside from her mental illness she had a host of other problems which have now been corrected.

From what you have described Otis appears pretty normal. I am no expert we just happen to have a Little Friend who is mentally challenged. As I write this Lippy has started spinning and I have to go.
post #21 of 29
Thread Starter 
Our little Lippy is gone!

Needless to say this has taken a heavy tole on us and we are devastated. She died Jan 11th this year (2008). This happened while we were on vacation which makes this hurt even more painful.

We boardered her for her own safety and our piece of mind, this was the second time using this facility as the first time went perfectly. Before leaving her we briefed the care givers on her history again, what to watch for and what to do. If in any doubt they knew how to reach us at any time. We didn't know anything was wrong until we received a phone call telling us that they (care givers and Vet) put our little Lippy to sleep!!!!!!

This was the first indication that something was very wrong! The owner of the boarding facility said that Lippy was found in the morning, in an unresponsive state and took her to the Vet (not our regular Vet, they have left the island) who had never seen Lippy, had no knowledge of her history and diagnosed her as probably having had a Stroke and wouldn't recover. They took it upon themselves without consulting us, to put her to sleep. They were wrong doing this without consulting us. Had they spoken with us, we would have asked them to observe her for 2-3 hours and speak with again after this period. Chances are, she would have come out of it. There is a possibility she did have a Stroke and they did the most humane thing but we have seen her like this over the years numerous times and it usually took from a half hour to several hours to come around. And she always did! What hurts so bad is the feeling that she was having one of her episodes which she would normally recover from, they didn't understand what was going on and they put her to sleep!

Here it is 3 months later and it still hurts so much. I don't know if this hurt will ever go away. Lippy wasn't in the best of health, we try to use this to console each other and try to justify what has happened. I write this with hope that it somehow will ease the pain, sofar nothing else has worked. I am sorry to lay this on all of you associated with this forum. James.
post #22 of 29
what a terrible thing! you're right, she's happy & healthy now... but you are bereft. for Lippy... & for you & your family.
post #23 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you!

She was a very happy little soul even though I am not sure she understood happiness, why he was feeling the way she did but she definitely felt it and displayed it. Seeing her run to greet her mum coming home from work was a joy to behold, I will never forget our time with her.
post #24 of 29
I am sorry no one called you before hand to ask about before they did that. And I feel for you on losing a special one.


It is nice to know that others have "special" babies. We have one that is like a Down' Syndom baby(spelling),, very sweet in temper but not quite all there. Dakota was found with ants all over him in a muddy ditch. At 18 months he had a grandma seizure. Nowdays he is busy chasing our newest baby around the house.

hugs and prays for your family
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thank you Fluffee.

Lippy was entrusted to us for a short time. Now she is back with the father who sent her to us.
post #26 of 29
Oh, my. I'm so sorry for your loss. That is so sad. But, you gave her a loving, caring home while she was with you. I hope remembering that may ease your pain a bit.

RIP, Lippy.
post #27 of 29
Aww, I am so sorry
post #28 of 29
I got chills reading this thread and the conclusion of Tippy's short life. I am very sorry for your loss.

Rest in peace, Tippy!
post #29 of 29
I'm sitting at the office in tears after reading this thread. All I can think of is the very special place in heaven all of you with special kitties will go to someday, and be reunited with your babies. You hear of so much hate and evil in the world, but something like this reminds that there is an awful lot of love still around as well.
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